For over 30 years, the Billboard Music Awards has celebrated the greatest achievements of musicians, honoring the hottest names in music culture. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the standard for ranking the most popular artists, songs, and albums; it is the ultimate measuring tool for success in the music industry. 

In May, the legendary Queen of Hip Hop Soul and R&B, Mary J. Blige will become a recipient of the prestigious Icon Award. The singer-songwriter will become just the tenth artist to receive the award. Blige, who has won 10 Billboard Music Awards in her career, said she was touched to be acknowledged for her hard work. Overwhelmed by this monumental accomplishment she stated, “My career has been such an incredible and unexpected journey that has included many turns into avenues I never could have imagined like acting, producing, launching businesses, and now even my own music festival.”

The iconic singer’s first two albums, “What’s the 411” and “My Life” are featured on the Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  Last summer, she celebrated the 25th anniversary of My Life with the release of the Amazon Studios documentary Mary J. Blige’s My Life, directed by Vanessa Roth.  She has won nine Grammy Awards including Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for her song “Disrespectful” with Chaka Khan and even a Best Gospel Performance Grammy for her collaboration with Aretha Franklin, “Never Gonna Break My Faith

Throughout the years, MJB has dealt with much heartache and pain while using her music as therapy to speak to her fans. Blige says Chaka Khan gave her the best advice ever by telling her she needed to get out of her own way. Mary said it didn’t click until she started seeing how she was doubting herself instead of trusting everything that she is. Once she started doing that, she was able to give her fans the greatest part of her.  

MJB performing at the Super Bowl. Photo credited by Carrie Wittmer/Getty

Blige is also making a great impact in the film world, acting as the tough-as-nails matriarch, Monét Tejada on the hit Starz crime drama sequel series, Power Book II: Ghost.  Mary has released 14 studio albums, all have reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart.  Mary is celebrated for her hit songs such as “Not Gon Cry,” “Real Love,” “Family Affair” and “Be Without You.” This past February, she performed at the halftime show at the Super Bowl alongside Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar. Also in February, Blige’s fourteenth studio album was released with the title track, Good Morning Gorgeous.  

Title track from MJB’s 14th studio album, Good Morning Gorgeous

This Icon Award will be another accolade to the famed singer’s already lustrous career.   The Billboard Music Awards will be broadcast live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 15, at 8 p.m. on NBC. It will also be available to stream on Peacock.  Congrats MJB! 

Ed Atkins

#BrandPro #RadioDJ ΩΨΦ CMSU/UCM Grad

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